Trees and Shrubs

Do Not Top Trees!

March 17, 2013 lawanda Newspaper Columns

A few years ago, a guy in a pickup truck filled with ladders and chainsaws came through my neighborhood looking for tree-pruning work.  Unfortunately, several of my neighbors hired him.  Four homes in a row that each had stately 50-year-old maples in their backyards now have big, fat tree trunks with a bunch of spindly […]


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Miniature Christmas trees from the grocery store

December 16, 2012 lawanda Newspaper Columns

This time of year just about every grocery, department and drug store features a beautiful display of live miniature Christmas trees as soon as you walk in the door. They are beautiful, healthy-looking trees and include Norfolk Island pines, various cypresses, holly and rosemary. After they’ve served their purpose as winter decoration, many people hope […]


0 HouseplantsMiscellaneousTrees and Shrubs

Surface Roots

May 6, 2012 lawanda Newspaper Columns

Just as a tree attains the majesty for which it is destined, its roots may begin to rise up from beneath the soil. These surface roots are difficult to mow and trim around and may cause a tripping hazard. While some tree species are more likely than others to form surface roots, the reason they […]


0 Gardening techniques and toolslandscapingTrees and Shrubs

Tree planting distances are important

June 19, 2011 lawanda Newspaper Columns

When my father-in-law passed away in 1997, my husband’s co-workers gave us a nursery gift certificate. We chose a nice ‘Autumn Blaze’ maple and planted it in the back yard, a good distance from all the other trees. When Grandma Koch saw the new tree, she immediately said it was too close to a mature […]


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Winter Prune Your Shooting Lanes: Do Try This At Home!

December 15, 2010 lawanda Magazine Columns

Let me guess – when deer season is over, you don’t give another thought to your prime spot until late summer or early fall of the next year.  That’s when you go up there and find out that your shooting lanes are overgrown with tree branches and brush so you start hacking away to clear […]


0 Gardening techniques and toolsTrees and Shrubs

Broadleaf Evergreens – Evergreens without Needles

November 4, 2009 lawanda Newspaper Columns

      The 4-foot arborvitae shrubs in front of my house were planted almost 40 years ago when the house was built.  For the 18 years that they’ve been mine, I’ve dutifully trimmed back the bright flush of spring growth each year to keep them from growing too wide and tall and looking unsightly.       This […]


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Attracting pollinators

October 21, 2009 lawanda Newspaper Columns

      One out of every three bites of food we eat is provided through the work of animal and insect pollinators.  The mysterious colony collapse disorder among commercial honeybees, disease and loss of habitat have severely affected pollinators that sustain our food crops and quality of life.       Other insects besides bees act as important […]


0 AnnualsFlowersPerennialsTrees and Shrubs

Plant currants in autumn

September 5, 2009 lawanda Newspaper Columns

      There are few plants that thrive when planted in late autumn, but red, white and black currants do.  The weather is likely to be wetter and there is still enough warmth in the soil to encourage the plants to grow some roots before winter.       There is a difference in the way the different […]


0 Fruits and vegetablesTrees and Shrubs

Hackberry trees

September 17, 2008 lawanda Newspaper Columns

      Alan Jackson sings, “If money grew on hackberry trees . . . that’d be all right.”  Ever wonder what a hackberry tree looks like?       Hackbery (Celtis occidentalis) is one of the most versatile shade trees.  It is related to the elm and in fact grows in the vase form of the elm, but […]


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Find fall color in shrubs

November 21, 2007 lawanda Newspaper Columns

      Tourism officials in Vermont are concerned that the fall color the last four years has been less than spectacular, resulting in the loss of millions of dollars in tourist spending.  Many scientists are attributing the lack of vibrant leaf color to global warming.  “Leaf peeping” isn’t quite as big a business here in Wisconsin, […]


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